The CRM&HA Education Program
The Education Program of the CRM&HA currently consists of three components as follows:
- EDUCATING CRM&HA MEMBERS
A. Operations Training Program - Both the CRM&HA portable “traveling” HO layout and our permanent HO layout at the museum are extensive and complex, and as such require various skills to operate safely and enjoyably. Operator Training Sessions for CRM&HA members and guest operators are currently held at the museum on the second Thursday evening of each month, from 7-9:30 p.m. At these sessions, attendees will be “certified” through a series of increasingly complex operating tasks as described here. All members are encouraged to attend in order to learn how to use our Digitraxx controllers, how to run freight and passenger “display” trains around the layout, and how to operate the specific trains that switch the various industries around the system. Limited realistic operating scenarios are set up each month on those parts of the layout that are operations-ready. The Operations Training Program is intended to help us “bridge the gap” between building a layout and operating a miniature transportation system. Our goal is to build a cadre of capable operators as we move gradually to fully operational status. If they want to come to an operations training session and run trains with us, model railroaders visiting our area should call Sandy Eustis (864-719-0096 at home, or 513-325-8850) before the session.
B. Monthly Meeting Program - Our regular monthly meetings (first Thursday evening of each month from 7:15-9:30pm include both a “business” meeting (mostly committee chair reports on our various projects, rail fan activities, and layout progress), AND an educational monthly program delivered by a CRM&HA member or guest speaker. These programs cover a wide variety of topics related to real railroads the serve our region, as well as modeling topics.
- EDUCATING MODEL RAILROADERS
A. “Joy of Model Railroading” Program – Club members who are expert at various modeling tasks (track planning, building bench work, track laying, wiring and electrical work, making basic scenery, building structures, maintaining rolling stock, etc., etc.) lead a series of hands-on sessions at which skills relevant to each model railroading task are taught and practiced by attendees. The entire series is offered each fall in conjunction with the Osher Lifelong Learning Program (OLLI) at Clemson University, and the individual modules are offered as stand-alone workshops from time to time during the rest of the year. This program is taught at a novice/intermediate level, and is open both to CRM&HA members who want to learn new skills, and to members of the wider community who are interested in the hobby of model railroading.
B. Annual Upstate Layout Tour – This program will be launched in the winter of 2013-14. It will consist of specified dates/times during which some of the many fine model railroads in our area, including some belonging to CRM&HA members and some belonging to others, will be operating and open for public visits.
- EDUCATING THE PUBLIC
A. Public Display Running – CRM&HA's mission is to promote understanding and enjoyment of railroad heritage in America, particularly in the Carolinas, and as such, we are focused on educating both adults and children about the vital role that railroads have played in the economic and social development of our region. Our permanent HO layout features those industries and railroad operations that were prominent during the “Golden Age” of railroading in the late 1950's. In addition to hosting regular monthly sessions at which we run trains for the public (second Saturdays frrom 9:30am to noon), we participate in the town of Central's annual Railroad Festival (usually held in late April.)
B. CRM&HA regularly hosts visiting school and scouting groups. Interested teachers or scouting leaders should contact Sandy Eustis (864-719-0096 at home, or 513-325-8850 cell, or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange a special visit, which can include specific age-appropriate educational activities that are intended to help children learn about the rich railroad heritage here in the South Carolina upstate region.